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Premonition - Fiction Writing Workshop

"Oh, my God,  look at that bird looking right in the window!  It's a sign, I tell you!  Someone in this house will be gone in seven days!  That's what my grandmother always said......" said the elderly woman, panic in her voice.

Laura sighed and looked at her mother-in-law.  She didn't want to upset anyone, but enough was enough. These 'premonitions'  were disturbing.   Besides, the bird came every day, it just sat there looking in.....how could she make mom understand?"

"Well, my grandma always said 'never trouble trouble until trouble troubles you!'  Mom, I'd appreciate if you'd try to keep those forecasts to yourself, they're upsetting me!  I have to correct all these papers for tomorrow to justify the time which I'm about to take off.....Michael's going to need all my attention when he gets home."

"You'll understand soon enough!  I know what I'm talking about," said mom, offended.  Then she flounced off leaving Laura feeling worse.

Laura's husband Michael was coming home the morning after the next day.  This was his final foreign tour. He'd rejoin civilian life and set up a business from home.  Laura was a professor in the university and they'd inherited this family home in an ideal location.  They'd inherited Michael's mother as well.  She had her own self-contained apartment in the house and took care of  Michael's dog in his absence as Laura was extremely busy with her teaching job.  Laura had originally thought that this would be an ideal arrangement.  But it was not.  Mom was always watching and commenting.  Laura kept busy with work and home and tried not to let it bother her.  But still.....

Those premonitions were scary.  Laura feared that her happiness, for which she'd waited the five years since her marriage, would be snatched away by cruel fate.....

That night, Laura heard someone moving around outside the room.  When she  opened the door, it was none other than her mother-in-law.

"I'm worried about Michael!  Afghanistan is a dangerous place for Americans....."

"Mom!  He's on his way home! Nothing's happened.  Now please go to sleep!  I've got to get up early, tomorrow's my last day before going on leave...."

The next day passed smoothly, but Laura had a faint feeling of impending doom!

Michael returned at the crack of dawn the very next morning.  All doubts, fears and worries melted in the sheer joy of being together again.  But after the first few minutes, he frowned.

"Where's mom? Not here to welcome me home?"

"She's looking forward to seeing you..."  Michael went to his mother' room and returned within seconds.

"Her room's empty.  She's not there....."

"Michael!  He's dead!" His mother appeared as if from nowhere, tearful and visibly distressed.

"I'm right here, Mom!  What happened?"

"It's King," she said, referring to Michael's beloved alsation dog.  "He passed away an hour ago.  He never got to welcome you home!  He was unwell last night.  I didn't say anything to her," she said, with a nod towards Laura.  "Some people are very particular about getting their sleep.  I sat by him all night.  I knew something would come of that bird looking in the window."

Watching her mother-in-law weeping in Michael's arms, Laura knew there'd be some difficult days ahead.

This post originally appeared on Write Away on WordPress on 15/9/2010

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